Going all out
One Friday at 18:00 I went to pick up my son at the university’s sports centre. He had quite a few kilometres of exercise behind him. I was amazed by the large number of cars in the parking area on a Friday evening. So many sacrifices, so many hours of relentless practicing to one day reach the highest rung in your sport. You have to go all out.
I salute every sportsman.
And I suspect this is what Paul did. He went all out with everything he had. Every available minute was spent on bringing God’s Word to other people. If he couldn’t go to them himself, he wrote to them.
Even when he was unjustly imprisoned, he wasted no energy in asking God why – he had done nothing wrong. No, he rather used the energy to make a positive impact in the Kingdom of God.
That’s the reason he said: 29That’s what I’m working so hard at day after day, year after year, doing my best with the energy God so generously gives me. When an athlete enters the home stretch, you can see how his muscles strain. He grimaces in pain as he goes all out. Paul went all out, even though it caused pain and hurt and suffering.
At dinner with friends I met the legendary Johan Fourie, 1500 metre star athlete from the eighties. He told us how he pushed himself so much that he would collapse completely after a race because he had used up all his energy during the race.
That evening I told myself that I would do the same in the gym, but when I decided to continue past the twenty minutes, it was as if something switched off in my head and my whole body rebelled. To tell the truth, my body stepped on the brakes so hard that I nearly fell off the machine.
If we’re honest with ourselves, many of us will have to admit that we don’t put nearly as much energy into the Kingdom of God as we should. We can do so much more, but it seems to me that the switch switches itself off – I suspect it’s a selfishness switch that makes us think only of ourselves.
I salute the athletes that practice so hard. I admire guys like Johan who can push themselves and give everything to come first. I am amazed at the way that Paul did it.
I also want to do that. I want to use every little bit of energy I have to share God’s Word with others. Maybe you and I should just check out our calling again so that we can see that God wants to use us right where we are.
It may not be to confront others, asking about their relationship with God (or maybe you are that kind of guy). Maybe you’re the one that wordlessly shows others what God looks like.
Let’s work on our passion. Let’s go all out while practicing and use all our energy. Then the world will definitely look different.
Do you give your all for God’s Kingdom?
Are you working hard and purposefully for God?
What does it make you feel like?
Father, I know I can and should put more energy into your Kingdom. I know I focus too much on myself. Please help me and give me the wisdom to learn to focus more on your purpose for me. Please help me to go all out to make a real difference. Amen.